Ledecky says faith in Olympic anti-doping system at ‘all-time low’ after Chinese swimming case

NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic champion Katie Ledecky says faith in the anti-doping system is at an “all-time low” in the wake of the way global regulators handled a case involving Chinese swimmers.

The seven-time Olympic gold medalist is looking to add to her haul this summer in Paris. In an interview with “CBS News Sunday Morning” that will air Sunday, Ledecky expressed concern that she and many others won’t be competing on a level playing field at what could be her fourth Olympics in France.

“It’s hard going into Paris knowing that we’re going to be racing some of these athletes,” said Ledecky, who will be at U.S. Olympic trials starting June 15. “And I think our faith in some of the systems is at an all-time low.”

Among Ledecky’s medals in Tokyo three years ago was a silver from the 4×200-meter freestyle relay that China won. Last month, the New York Times and German broadcaster ARD reported that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in the months leading up to those Olympics, where some of the Chinese swimmers who tested positive were allowed to compete.

Chinese authorities did not penalize the athletes after determining the drug had entered the swimmers’ systems through contamination. The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted that explanation, saying in part that it had very little chance of winning an appeal had it opened a case.

Ledecky, whose six individual Olympic golds is a women’s record, said “it doesn’t seem like everything was followed to a ‘T'” regarding the handling of the case.

“I’d like to see some accountability here,” she said. “I’d like to see some answers as to why this happened the way it did. And I’d really like to see that steps are taken for the future so that we can regain some confidence in the global system.”

WADA hired a Swiss lawyer to conduct a review of the way the case was handled, but critics have said the probe is too narrow and not truly independent. Ledecky added to a chorus of athletes who would like to see more transparency about the case that figures to cast a shadow over swimming in Paris.

“I think the whole case has to be reexamined independently and thoroughly,” she said, “and all the information needs to be out there.”


AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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